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November 16, 2018

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Great food is all around

There are fantastic fleets of ferries and yachts to behold at Cape Cod, and plenty of delicious “chowda” too.

PHOTO BY ROSEANNA SCHICK

There are fantastic fleets of ferries and yachts to behold at Cape Cod, and plenty of delicious “chowda” too.

Over the years I’ve heard much admiration expressed for celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.

He shared the philosophy that food sets the table for a world of discoveries outside of what’s on your plate, and connects you like nothing else to local people and their customs and cultures. It’s a philosophy I’ve come to embrace in my own travels, and often make a point of seeking out dining experiences instead of just having a meal. Here are a few of what have been my favourites.

What began as an affordable way to feed hungry hordes of fishermen in Door County, Wis., is now a not-to-be-missed attraction known as the fish boil. At sundown, diners gather around an outdoor bonfire containing a massive kettle of salted water. When precisely the correct temperature is reached, boilmaster Earl T. Jones adds a basket of potatoes and onions, and whitefish steaks fresh from Lake Michigan. Part host, part showman, part comedian, he paces around telling jokes and stories before dramatically tossing kerosene into the fire for one gigantic blaze of boil-over glory. Resulting in one of the tastiest fish meals I’ve ever had.

Tugboats Restaurant at Hyannis Marina in Cape Cod offers a spectacular view of fishing fleets and ferries, and yachts bigger than your average house. It was here I got my first taste of authentic New England clam chowder — or “chowda” as written on the menu, and pronounced by every local I met. Restaurants here take great pride in their soup, each one preparing it in their own special way, and serving it up with stories about their own particular recipe. If you embark on the “clam chowda challenge” and order it at every restaurant you visit, you’ll discover no two bowls — or tales — are ever the same.

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Over the years I’ve heard much admiration expressed for celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.

He shared the philosophy that food sets the table for a world of discoveries outside of what’s on your plate, and connects you like nothing else to local people and their customs and cultures. It’s a philosophy I’ve come to embrace in my own travels, and often make a point of seeking out dining experiences instead of just having a meal. Here are a few of what have been my favourites.

What began as an affordable way to feed hungry hordes of fishermen in Door County, Wis., is now a not-to-be-missed attraction known as the fish boil. At sundown, diners gather around an outdoor bonfire containing a massive kettle of salted water. When precisely the correct temperature is reached, boilmaster Earl T. Jones adds a basket of potatoes and onions, and whitefish steaks fresh from Lake Michigan. Part host, part showman, part comedian, he paces around telling jokes and stories before dramatically tossing kerosene into the fire for one gigantic blaze of boil-over glory. Resulting in one of the tastiest fish meals I’ve ever had.

Tugboats Restaurant at Hyannis Marina in Cape Cod offers a spectacular view of fishing fleets and ferries, and yachts bigger than your average house. It was here I got my first taste of authentic New England clam chowder — or "chowda" as written on the menu, and pronounced by every local I met. Restaurants here take great pride in their soup, each one preparing it in their own special way, and serving it up with stories about their own particular recipe. If you embark on the "clam chowda challenge" and order it at every restaurant you visit, you’ll discover no two bowls — or tales — are ever the same.

Shediac, N.B., is touted ‘The Lobster Capital of the World’ and has the world’s largest lobster to prove it. Their magnificent monument weighs 55 tonnes, measures in at 11 meters long, five metres wide, and five metres tall, and sports a staircase so visitors can climb up for photo ops. If you go down to the docks when the fishermen are coming in with the days’ catch, pick out and purchase your very own lobster right there from the traps. I guarantee it will be the freshest and most delicious lobster you will ever eat.

There’s no better way to experience Puerto Vallarta then spending a day in cooking class at third-generation family-owned Gaby’s Restaurant. It begins with a field trip with youngest son Chef Julio, who takes you to the street market, showing how to select the freshest ingredients. Wind your way through the streets, stopping at different places to pick up veggies and fruits, fish and meats, and steaming hot tortillas handmade right there on the spot. Then it’s back to Gaby’s to roll up your sleeves, don an apron, and prepare a seven-course traditional Mexican feast you’ll never forget.

New York City has gazillions of restaurants to choose from, but one of the most authentic and entertaining dining experiences is outside. The Halal Guys serves up "street food" to an endless line of what are mostly locals. When I asked one guy why he chose this particular cart, he responded without hesitation. "It’s the best. You can’t go wrong." He then recommended the "special plate" heaping with ground meat, lettuce, pita, and orange rice that looked like shredded carrots, all drizzled with a tangy white sauce tasting like tzatziki crossed with tahini. It was the best indeed.

RoseAnna Schick is an avid traveller who seeks inspiration wherever she goes. Email her at rascreative@yahoo.ca

RoseAnna Schick

RoseAnna Schick
Travelations

RoseAnna Schick is an avid traveller and music lover who seeks inspiration wherever she goes. Email her at rascreative@yahoo.ca

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